Break-it-down Dancing with Poetic Feet Thursday

          Registration for RhyPiBoMo 2014 is Closed!

We have 204 participants registered

for this, our first year!

Woo Hoo!

More confetti throwing!

;;::‘””:“”:“;:’:;”::”;”‘:”””::”;;;;””:’;:

*

This really is amazing to me that over 200 of you are coming here every day or as often as you can, to read and learn more about writing. I didn’t know if I’d have 4 people following my blog starting on March 3oth…Thank you from the bottom of my heart for trusting me to take us through this meandering journey through rhyme and poetry to get to our final destination of writing rhyming picture books.

Hugs and rhyme for everyone!

*

Today’s guest blogger is a busy lady who has her toes dipped in lots of different writing rivers…Her latest endeavor  is a wonderful new poetry course called

The Lyrical Language Lab, Punching Up Prose with Poetry.

http://www.nowaterriver.com/the-lyrical-language-lab/

Check it out! It seems that April and May are already full but you should consider signing up for a summer class! Renee has generously donated a scholarship for this course as one of our Golden Quill Poetry Contest Prizes…Thanks Renee!

Renee la Tulippe 2

*

*

So, without further ado, I’m honored to present today’s

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Renee La Tulippe!

*

    Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge     Renee LaTulippe

*

*

FREE VERSE FOR RHYMERS: Lessons from the Other Side
by Renée M. LaTulippe

*

We all know that writing – any kind of writing – must be tight and engaging. No extra words. No tangents. Every syllable must push push push that poem or story forward toward its inevitable end. And those syllables have to sing.

*

A good way to become familiar with the economy and choice of words necessary for such writing is to read and write free verse. As rhymers, we can learn so much by stripping away our rhyme schemes and meter and letting our stories or poems stand there as naked as jaybirds. Without all the fancy plumes, do they still hold up?

*

The three free verse poems below illustrate how much can be done with character development, rhythm, and story structure in just a few well-chosen words. Read them and try the quick exercises to see how you can apply the techniques to hone your rhyming poems and stories.

*

*

Character Development

Sisters

Points to ponder:
• In two tercets and a total of twenty-five words, poet Janet Wong creates an entire relationship with an emotional backstory.

*
• The poem feels both effortless and sincere because the poet has reproduced the natural rhythms of spoken language – something that is often lost in rhyming texts. There is nothing forced about the language.

*
• Careful word choice supports the image of the narrator as a girl who is “soft” – just like all those F sounds in tofu, soft, falling, tough, full of fire.

*
• Although this is free verse, the poet makes use of slant rhyme and other sound devices, as in tofu/soft/tough and ginger/her.

*
• The first two lines and the use of tofu and soft at first give a sense that perhaps the narrator is merely plump, while the clever third line, easily falling apart, adds another meaning to the word soft, as in emotionally fragile (or at least more fragile than the tougher sister).

*
• The second tercet succinctly reveals both the narrator’s desire and her view of her sister.

*

*

Try it!
Write a short free verse poem that encapsulates your main character and includes clues to his/her personality, problem, emotional state, and/or relationship to another character. Then rewrite it as a rhyming stanza.

*
Rhythm and Sound

Beavers

Points to ponder:
• Although it is free verse, Marilyn Singer’s poem contains rhyme, alliteration, assonance, consonance, onomatopoeia, and repetition.

*
• Form and sound work really well together in This stick here / That stick there. The repeated stick is a short, staccato word that recalls the precision of a beaver’s work, while the space in the line forces the reader to pause and emphasizes the deliberate actions of the beaver in placing the sticks just so.

*
• The same can be said for the repetition of mud, more mud, add mud, good mud, which creates a single-minded, assembly-line image of very focused beavers and mimics their staccato movements.

*
• The heavy D, G, and short U sounds in that repeated line put us right in the mud with the beavers, while the alliterated M sound creates a subtle, monotonous hum that underscores the assembly line focus.

*
• The lack of punctuation throughout further enhances the idea that these beavers don’t take a break and will continue working in their dam factory long after we’ve finished the poem.

*

*
Try it!
Choose a short section of your manuscript or poem and rewrite it as a free verse poem that captures the desired rhythm of your story/character. Is it fast-paced and bouncy or slow and lyrical? Consider the properties of the sounds you choose.

*

Story Structure

 Sign me up

Points to ponder:
• This poem by David L. Harrison is a succinct illustration of story structure and story elements. With sparse but evocative language, the poem:

*
• establishes the main character and his emotional state (further helped by cowboy dialect)

*
• introduces the problem (conflicted about signing up for the cattle drive)

*
• illustrates reasons that gave rise to problem (those durn flies!)

*
• ups the stakes (busted leg, stampedes, etc.)

*
• includes falling action moving toward resolution (don’t know what else I’d do)

*
• shows transformation of character’s emotional state (lookin’ at stars ain’t so bad)

*
• resolution (sign me up)

*

*
Try it!
Write your whole rhyming story or poem in free verse. What did you leave out that was in the rhyming version? Do you really need it?

*

Remember that when trying these exercises, the idea is not to merely write your whole rhyming story or poem down the page instead of across it – that’s not what free verse is. Rather, the idea is to distill your work into one or a series of short free verse poems with the goal of seeing
• where you can tighten your writing
• how you can use sound, rhythm, and word choice to enhance your story
• how you can bring more of the natural rhythms of spoken language into your verse
• how your structure holds up without all the bells and whistles of rhyme

*

*

Getting to the essence of your story through free verse can help you approach your work with a more critical eye and refine it into a tight, engaging, and musical piece of writing.

*

*

© 2014 Renée M. LaTulippe. This article is partially excerpted from a lesson in the online course The Lyrical Language Lab: Punching Up Prose with Poetry. All rights reserved.

*

*
Bio
Renée M. LaTulippe has co-authored nine early readers and a collection of poetry titled Lizard Lou: a collection of rhymes old and new for All About Learning Press, where she is also the editor, and has poems in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School and The PFA for Science. She developed and teaches the online course The Lyrical Language Lab: Punching Up Prose with Poetry and blogs on children’s poetry at NoWaterRiver.com. Renée earned her BFA in acting/directing from Marymount Manhattan College and her MA in English Education from NYU, and taught English, theater, and public speaking in NYC. She lives in Italy with her husband and twin boys.
http://www.NoWaterRiver.com
Twitter: @ReneeMLaTulippe

No water river
http://www.nowaterriver.com/

*
– Renée’s book of poetry: Lizard Lou: a collection of poems old and new
– See my poems in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School (ed. Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong)
– How to use NWR in the classroom

Here are a few of Renee’s books:

Renee La Tulippe 1

*

       Renee La Tulippe 3

Thank you Renee La Tulippe!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Thursday, April 17th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 19

*

*
Today’s lessons will be more review of Iamb, Trochee and Spondee. This will give you time to catch up with other lessons as well.

*

Talk about Breaking it down…
One LAST time!

*

You should be feeling pretty comfortable with Iamb by now!

*

Iamb – is a metrical foot consisting of two syllables, a short one followed by a long one
Pronunciation: EYE-am

*
The stressed syllables are in all caps

*

*

For example:
Come LIVE / with ME / and BE / my LOVE.
Short LONG/ short LONG/ short LONG/ short LONG
Da-DUM/Da-DUM/ Da-DUM/Da-DUM

*

*

Another example:
from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18:

*
So LONG / as MEN / can BREATHE / or EYES / can SEE,
Short LONG/ short LONG/ short LONG/ short LONG/short LONG
Da-DUM/Da-DUM/ Da-DUM/Da-DUM/Da-DUM

*
So LONG / lives THIS / and THIS / gives LIFE / to THEE.
Short LONG/ short LONG/ short LONG/ short LONG/short LONG
Da-DUM/Da-DUM/ Da-DUM/Da-DUM/Da-DUM

*

Foot Type                  Style Stress pattern                       Syllable Count
Iamb/Iambic          Unstressed + Stressed                   Two

*

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*

Trochee – a metrical foot consisting of one long syllable followed by one short syllable or of one stressed syllable followed by one unstressed syllable (as in apple)
Pronunciation: TROH-kee

*

*

Trochaic is the direct opposite of iambic in that its two feet are hard and soft.
The stressed syllables are in all caps

*

For example:

TI-ger/TI-ger/BURN-ing/BRIGHT
LONG short/LONG short/LONG short/LONG
DUM-da/DUM-da/DUM-da/DUM

*

IN the/FOR-est/OF the/NIGHT
LONG short/LONG short/LONG short/LONG
DUM-da/DUM-da/DUM-da/DUM

*

Foot Type                            Style Stress pattern                        Syllable Count
Trochee/Trochaic          Stressed + Unstressed                  Two

*

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*

Spondee – is a metrical foot consisting of two long or stressed syllables as in the word “heartache.” Spondee is a relatively rare meter that slows down the tempo of a line when it is used. It is unusual to find whole poems written in spondee, but it is usually combined with other metrical feet for effect.
Pronunciation:SPON-dee

*

The stressed syllables are in all caps

*

*

For example:
Longfellow’s classic, ‘On the Shores of Hiawatha.’
This poem is rare because every line has three feet of spondee and one of trochee. This poem is about Native Americans, and we can almost hear a drum beat because of the use of spondee.

*

*

BY THE/SHORE OF / GIT-CHE/GUM-ee.
LONG LONG/LONG LONG/LONG LONG/ short
DUM DUM/DUM DUM/DUM DUM/ da

*

BY THE/ SHIN-ING/ BIG SEA /WAT-er
LONG LONG/LONG LONG/LONG LONG/ short
DUM DUM/DUM DUM/DUM DUM/ da

*

AT THE/ DOOR-WAY/OF HIS/WIG-wam,
LONG LONG/LONG LONG/LONG LONG/ short
DUM DUM/DUM DUM/DUM DUM/ da

*

IN THE /PLEA-SANT/SUM-MER/MORN-ing,
LONG LONG/LONG LONG/LONG LONG/ short
DUM DUM/DUM DUM/DUM DUM/ da

*

*
Writing Prompt: Finish finding the Spondee in the rest of this poem. Separate by writing the stressed syllables in all caps and divide the feet with a slash mark, as above.

*

*

HI-A/WA-THA/STOOD AND/WAIT-ed.

All the air was full of freshness,

All the earth was bright and joyous,

And before him, through the sunshine,

Westward toward the neighboring forest

Passed in golden swarms the Ahmo

Passed the bees, the honey-makers,

Burning, singing in the sunshine.’

*

Foot Type                             Style Stress pattern                    Syllable Count
Spondee/Spondaic        Stressed + Stressed                     Two

*

The exact opposite of Spondee is Pyrrhic. Pyrrhic has 2 unstressed syllables. See if you can find some poems with Pyrrhic feet.

*

*

Okay, now do everything else on the pledge for today and don’t forget to comment on today’s blog post!

RhyPiBoMo Pledge

RhyPiBoMo PledgeRhyPiBoMo Pledge
Please comment ONLY ONE TIME below for a chance to win today’s prize!
Prizes will be drawn by Random.com next Sunday for the previous week.
To be eligible for a prize you must be a registered participant and
comment after each days lessons.

102 thoughts on “Break-it-down Dancing with Poetic Feet Thursday

  1. Angie, I’m sorry.:( I hope you feel better soon.

    Man. I guessed close. And after i guessed I tweeted. A little too much for me to win, but I’m glad you have that many this first time around.

    Renee, maybe someday I’ll have the money to take your class. I hope so. Beavers in November is the type of poem that makes me wish I’d written it. I can just hear the rhythm.

    Thank you Renee and Angie. *waves*

  2. No one brought up the assonance in Renee’s example of Harrison’s ” Sign Me Up” poem but it’s there. I especially liked the “don’t know really…” line followed shortly by “prairie.” Can’t believe these things are done purposefully.

  3. Thank you, Renee, for your terrific blog post regarding free verse and how to use it as a tool.

    Angie, thank you for the review-needed it! So happy the group is over 200! Lead us onward!

  4. Thanks for the review time, Angie! And thanks to Renee for her exercises for using free verse to strengthen rhyming poetry. Lots to think about.

  5. Love the concrete examples, Renee! This lesson reminds me to not only enjoy reading great poetry, but to also take the time to analyse what works so well in those poems. I found the commentary about the rhythms and sounds of “Beavers in November” to be particularly helpful.
    Thank you, thank you, Angie, for bringing together wonderful poet-mentors to help us move our own poetry along!

  6. Wow, what a post! That Renee is remarkable. I know that this is going to work for my current pb draft. I’m excited about what I’ll find out about my story. Thank you Angie, for the detailed posts. Amazing!

  7. Sending my secret-recipe chicken soup your way, Angie. Inhale the steamy broth deeply first- it’s very therapeutic! Great examples, pointers, and comments from Renee on free verse (which I’ve long loved to write!) as a tool to checking the quality of the rhyming pb. Perfect timing for your review lesson, Angie. thanks…and feel better fast!

  8. Renee is so SMART! I have to admit that when I read the Hiawatha poem I would say that each line starts with two feet of trochee. I still hear the drum, but I’m marching to a different beat I guess.🙂

  9. Renee’s class seems lovely. I really liked the poem “sisters” she used as an example. I especially like how through the words the poet selected, she also clearly gave cultural information too (tofu and ginger). Very nicely done!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s